Lateef Lovejoy – Original Review | Review by Steve Bennett

Lateef Lovejoy – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

The most striking thing about Lateef Lovejoy’s stand-up is his complete lack of ambition. He opens with an exhausted old ‘…and that was just the teacher!’ switcheroo, and things rarely get much better from there.

In his favour, does have the sort of confident, exuberant delivery that forces energy at the audience – and some of it inevitably rubs off – but then he needs strong performance skills, since he can’t rely on his lacklustre material alone to get a laugh.

A regular compere, he seeks a rousing cheer of confirmation before launching in to any of his segments. It’s the one positive reaction comics can safely guarantee for themselves simply by demanding it, whereas the laughs have to come naturally – and so prove a lot more elusive. There are a lot more asked-for ‘hoorays’ in Lovjoy’s set than unprompted guffaws.

Much of the routine goes down well-worn routes, such as repeatedly using the brusque Nigerian accent to get a laugh, or complaining that it’s always the black people who die first in films. He does impressions, too, though not necessarily of the most up-to-date celebrities. Imagine Chris Eubank… in a porn film!

Alongside these formulaic pieces are a couple of routines that give his smart-aleck comebacks to chosen situations. But these seem confused, and the set-ups obscure. One has him complaining that you ‘always’ have problems getting change for the parking meter from KFC, as if this is a specific widespread problem we all battle every day. Another recalls his time as a shop assistant being patronising told how to properly fold jumpers. ‘Maybe I should get my fist and punch you in the throat so you’re blinded by your tears and choke on your own blood,’ he replies venomously, as a prelude to a weak pun. But the line sounds more like the threat an eight-year-old would make.

But apart from these strange excursions, Lovejoy mostly offers comedy by the numbers – and ge doesn’t even get into the double digits.

Review date: 14 Jan 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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